Opposition leader Raila Odinga has said radical political changes will come in the next few months.
Speaking in Nyatike, Migori County yesterday, Raila asked Kenyans to prepare for a major political transformation in the coming months, saying the change of the Constitution was inevitable.
“A new Kenya is signaling. You will see things happening. We are only waiting for members of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and then President Uhuru Kenyatta and myself will give direction on the impending referendum,” said Raila.
He added: “Time for change has come and it is real. Kenyans must decide whether they want the presidential or parliamentary system.”
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The ODM leader said the mood in the country was proof that the Constitution must be amended to usher in change in the executive to stop the power imbalance and create room for inclusivity and fair distribution of resources.
At the same time, he told critics to stop using derogatory remarks against him.
Raila said although he was not bothered by the‘mganga’ (witchdoctor) tag, it was wrong for leaders in the Tanga Tanga team allied to Deputy President William Ruto to continue using the disrespectful remarks against him.
“I am not a witch doctor and I have never been one. Whether you abuse Raila using derogatory words or not, it will add no value to your political discourse,” said Raila.
It was the first time the ODM leader was responding to critics who have been referring to him as “yule mganga” (that witch doctor) or “yule mjamaa wa kitendawili” (The riddle man) during rallies.
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Fighting the handshake
He told Kenyans to shun politicians who use abusive language against their opponents.
“Witch doctors are there in society. No one has been denied the chance to visit them. What is the farce about it?” he posed.
In an apparent reference to the Tanga Tanga team, Raila said some politicians were fighting the handshake and the war on corruption. He said such politicians would fail.
“We are not going back in the fight on corruption and no weapon or hurdle placed on our path will stop us,” said the ODM leader.
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He added: “When God is with us who can be against us? We will deal with corruption without fear or favour. We will not be cowed.”
Raila denied claims that his relation with President Kenyatta was about 2022 politics.
“We have not yet started discussing 2022. We still want to deal with teething problems such as electoral malpractices, corruption and governance issues before we embark on 2022 ,” he said.
The ODM leader explained that while some politicians were traversing the country campaigning for 2022, he and President Kenyatta were working to make Kenya a better country.
“We must look at priorities that would bring Kenyans together. This is because there has been political tension, political hatred, fear and despondency created by negative ethnicity,” said the opposition leader
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Raila was addressing supporters during the home coming party for Nyatike MP Tom Odege. Migori Governor Okoth Obado and several MPs attanded.
MPs who spoke at the function criticised some politicians from Nyanza, whom they claimed were opposed to the handshake and were holding night meetings with Ruto.
ODM Chairman John Mbadi, Suna East MP, Junet Mohamed and Homa Bay Women Representative Gladys Wanga urged Nyanza leaders to rally behind Raila, whom they said had not completed his political journey.
“I have heard some of our people saying Raila’s political influence in Nyanza was fading. I want to tell them that Raila is still politically relevant and is gaining more popularity,” said Ms Wanga.
Earlier, Raila launched of a multi-million rice irrigation project funded by the National Irrigation Board at Agenga.
The ODM leader is expected to host Kikuyu elders at his home in Opoda, Siaya County, today.
Source privy to the visit said the elders will deliver a special message to Raila from Kikuyu leaders supporting his new-found friendship with President Kenyatta.
The visit by the elders comes barely two days after an inter-denominational prayer service that was to be attended by Ruto in Central Kenya was cancelled over unclear reasons.
The much publicised prayer meeting was to be attended by several MPs, governors and Senators who support the DP’s Tanga Tanga movement.
Sources said the meeting was cancelled after it emerged that it could turn political.
Meanwhile, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna has criticized the Treasury for starving political parties of cash to run their affairs.
He said cash crunch has made ODM not to conduct proper party primaries.
“We are starved of funds. Conducting any good party primary requires not less than Sh500,000, yet we have never had this kind of money. The Treasury is denying us money yet courts recently ordered them to give parties 0.3 per cent of the national budget,” he said.
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